Wednesday, 30 May 2012
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Upgrade now to the new Google Analytics Core Reporting API

By Pete Frisella, Nick Mihailovski, and Jeetendra Soneja, Google Analytics API Team

Core Reporting API Migration Update

Back in December we launched the Core Reporting API to replace the Data Export API. We also announced that we would be shutting down the old Data Export API and that all applications should migrate to the new version.

The time has come for us to shut down the old version. So this is our last reminder to migrate to the new Core Reporting API.

Starting next week, we’ll begin redirecting a portion of Data Export API requests to the Core Reporting API as we prepare to shut down the Data Export API on July 10th. So you'll begin to see Data Feed requests return a Core Reporting API response, and requests for the Account Feed will produce an error.

If you do not migrate, your application will experience service outages.

For more information, visit:
Reminder: Migrate to the new Core Reporting API
Migration Guide: Moving from v2.3 APIs to v2.4 & v3.0

New Guides To Get You Started Fast

It’s important for the Google Analytics APIs to be open and accessible to all developers. It’s common practice for developers learning a new API to start off with the basics and incrementally build from this foundation.

So with that in mind, we wrote a new Hello Analytics API tutorial to give you that basic foundation. The tutorial includes sample code for Java, PHP, Python, and JavaScript. It also walks you through the basic steps of using the Google Analytics API, including registration, authorizing users, retrieving account and profile information, and querying for a report. Once complete you will have a working example that you can customize.

To make it even easier to build applications, we’ve also updated the developer guides for both the Core Reporting API and Management API. Examples for a variety of programming languages have been included, but more importantly the basic concepts have been highlighted.

So whether you’re just starting, updating, or migrating to the new version, you should check out the Hello Analytics API tutorial and Developer Guides before settling down to write that awesome application.

Pete Frisella is a Developer Advocate for Google Analytics, interested in encouraging and promoting awesome Google Analytics integrations. Pete loves to talk tech, travel, and hit the golf course when he can.

Nick Mihailovski is a Senior Developer Programs Engineer working on the Google Analytics API. In his spare time he likes to travel around the world.

Jeetendra Soneja is the Technical Engineering Lead on the Google Analytics API team. He's a big fan of cricket – the game, that is. :)

Posted by Scott Knaster, Editor

Join us at Random Hacks of Kindness this weekend

Author PhotoBy Christiaan Adams, Developer Advocate, Crisis Response Team

Cross-posted with the Blog

On June 2nd and 3rd, volunteers around the world are coming together for the Random Hacks of Kindness Global Hackathon. Born in 2009, Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) is the brainchild of a partnership among Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, HP, NASA and the World Bank. The RHoK international community is over 4000 strong, encompassing not only computer programmers but also engineers, designers, web experts, project managers and other tech-savvy do-gooders, as well as subject matter experts in areas as diverse as disaster risk management, climate change, water, health care and human rights. This group of unlikely collaborators works together to define challenges facing humanity in local communities all around the world, and then to rapidly prototype solutions during an intensive weekend of round-the-clock work.

Fueled by plenty of coffee and a strong desire to make a difference in the world, "hackers for humanity" working alongside subject matter experts have created innovative solutions to pressing problems in their communities.
In the three short years since its inception, RHoK communities have sprung up in close to 50 cities around the world, with the support of over 180 diverse partner organizations, from government and academia, to the non-profit and private sectors.

RHoK Global in June 2012 will be taking place simultaneously in 21+ cities globally, from Seattle to Santo Domingo, from Philadelphia to Prague. Googlers will be attending the events in San Francisco, Prague, and other locations, and we hope you can join us.

Be a part of this global movement to make the world a better place through the innovative use of technology. Register at and come out to hack for humanity in a city near you on June 2nd and 3rd, 2012!

Christiaan Adams is a Developer Advocate with the Google Earth Outreach Team and’s Crisis Response Team, where he helps nonprofits and disaster response organizations to use online mapping tools. When he’s not at work, he likes to go hiking or mountain biking, using Google Maps, of course.

Posted by Scott Knaster, Editor

Friday, 25 May 2012
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Fridaygram: Moog doodle, new species, eclipse pictures

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By Scott Knaster, Google Developers Blog Editor

Earlier this week we posted a doodle honoring Bob Moog, inventor of the Moog Synthesizer. This instrument started a revolution in electronic music, as musicians in many different genres used the Moog Synthesizer and its descendants to create and enhance their music. This doodle was the first one to use the Web Audio API to create sounds, along with a bunch of other web and Google technologies. But mostly, this doodle was wonderful because it was a lot of fun to play with.

Some things are not so fun to play with, but are cool to look at, like many of the creatures on this year’s list of the top 10 new species as selected by the International Institute for Species Exploration. The list includes a super-fast wasp, a very big millipede, a sneezing monkey, and a really amazing jelly.

photo of new jelly species
Bonaire Banded Box Jelly (Tamoya ohboya). Yeah, it stings. Photo credit: Ned DeLoach

Finally, for some big-time science fun this weekend, use your favorite search engine to find photos of last week’s annular eclipse. Or, if you don’t want to do your own search, you can start with these.

The Official Google Blog post about the Moog doodle includes this wonderful bit of writing: "Bob Moog is something of a patron saint of the nerdy arts..." We respect that here on the Fridaygram, because nerds r us, and that's why we publish posts with items that aren’t always related to developer topics.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012
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The Google APIs Explorer has a new look

By Antonio Fuentes and Jake Moshenko,
Google Developer Team

Last March we introduced the Google APIs Explorer, an interactive tool that enables you to try out a Google API in minutes and explore its supported methods. When we launched it, the APIs Explorer supported over a half dozen APIs.

Starting today, the APIs Explorer has a brand new look to make it easier and more fun to navigate. We are also adding new features, including an indexed history of your API calls, a better editor for the body of a request, and a search box so you can search for APIs and methods easily.

screen shot

Moreover, we have been busy adding support for more APIs to the Explorer. The Explorer now supports over two dozen Google APIs, and the list continues to grow! We have also added an indicator to show which methods require authenticated requests.

To get started, here are some sample requests you can try in the Explorer:

The APIs Explorer will help you get started using Google APIs in minutes. If you need more information, visit the documentation. We always welcome your feedback in the Public Forum.

Antonio Fuentes is a Product Manager focusing on developer-facing technologies.

Jake Moshenko is a Software Engineer working on the Google APIs developer experience. He believes that Google APIs should be easy to use, especially from Google platforms.

Posted by Scott Knaster, Editor

Friday, 18 May 2012
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Fridaygram: email journey, humans and robots, special space launch

Author PhotoBy Scott Knaster, Google Developers Blog Editor

This week we launched Story of Send, a new site that shows you what happens to your email after you click (or tap) Send. The site is meant for everyone, so you can share it with your [insert favorite non-nerdy reference person here].

story of send screen shot

Even though Story of Send is designed for all viewers, there are great features inside for us nerds. These appear not just in the text and animation, but also in the form of photos and videos. In particular, take a look at the video At the data center, which you’ll find on the Safe and Secure page, for a rare look inside a Google data center.

We’re used to great technology in our computers and mobile devices. More rarely, we get to see amazing tech that truly transforms lives. Thanks to research in robotics and neuroscience, two paralyzed people have controlled a robotic arm with their thoughts via a tiny injected sensor. One participant used the robot arm to grab a bottle and bring it to her so she could drink from it. This woman has been paralyzed for 15 years. After the successful experiment, one of the researchers was quoted as saying "She had a smile on her face that I and the research team will never forget".

Finally, space fans might want to make time this weekend to watch the May 19 launch of the private SpaceX Dragon spacecraft from Cape Canaveral on its way to the International Space Station. Depending on where you are on the planet, the launch is scheduled for morning, afternoon, or evening on Saturday. Those of us here on the west coast of North America and in Hawaii can just plan to drink a lot of coffee and stay up late tonight.

Each week we publish Fridaygram, featuring stuff from Google and beyond that you might have missed during the week. Fridaygram items aren't necessarily related to developer topics; they’re just interesting to us nerds. This week we’re wondering if Zefram Cochrane would be interested in the SpaceX launch.

Thursday, 17 May 2012
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Hangouts Hackathon: 1 API, 5 developers, 2 weeks

By Jonathan Beri, Google+ Developer Advocate

Cross-posted from the Google+ Developers Blog

Last week we released an update to the Google+ Hangouts API, which includes several new features and possibilities to build on, like the ability to respond to facial movements in real-time inside an app.

As with any new API, we’re especially interested in what sorts of things our developer friends will dream up, so we've commissioned a handful of them to play with it over the next couple of weeks, and to share their thoughts and discoveries along the way. The participants represent a wide range of developers -- from agencies like The Barbarian Group to independent developers like Eyebeam alum Aaron Meyers teamed up with OKFocus.

Follow the Hangouts Hackathon with us on the Google+ Developers page, and, if you’re working on an interesting Hangouts API project we’d love to hear about that too. Use hashtag #hangoutshackathon to chat about our work, or your own, with the new API.

Friday, 11 May 2012
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Fridaygram: App Engine search, rock-tossing chimp, man vs. beast

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By Scott Knaster, Google Developers Blog Editor

Google App Engine has a well-deserved reputation for regularly adding cool new features and other improvements. This week the team launched full-text search, which has been a hotly desired feature since the earliest days of App Engine. The new App Engine Search API enables you to search documents using lots of options, including searching specific fields and creating results snippets. At Google, it’s always fun to build new frontiers in search.

The App Engine Search API is a powerful tool indeed, but it probably couldn't defend you against an aggressive chimp that likes to gather and throw stones. The chimp in question, Santino, has apparently been gathering stones for years and then throwing them at intruders. Scientists have debated whether Santino is actually planning for upcoming tantrums when collecting stones. After years of close observation, researchers still disagree on whether Santino is a premeditated stone-thrower. But there is plenty of fascinating evidence, such as Santino stashing his stones beneath piles of hay where nobody will see them. Cat out of the bag, Santino?

Finally, we direct you to this remixed video of a different, stone-free interspecies confrontation. It's weird and funny, and it has special effects – what more could you want? It's a perfect way to spend a minute and ten seconds of your Friday or weekend.

Each week we publish Fridaygram, a post with cool Google and non-Google stuff you might have missed during the week. Fridaygram items aren't necessarily related to developer topics; they’re just interesting to us nerds. As for moving from App Engine Search to Santino the plotting chimp, we’re just trying to maintain our practice of tortured transitions.

Thursday, 10 May 2012
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Pricing plan announced for Google Cloud SQL

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By Joe Faith, Product Manager

Google Cloud SQL provides a fully managed database service for Google App Engine applications. Hosted on Google's infrastructure and based on the familiar MySQL database, Google Cloud SQL automatically provisions and maintains your databases, allowing you to focus on your applications and services.

In March, we were delighted to welcome our 10,000th developer on Google Cloud SQL, joining businesses like Daffodil, who halved their development time by building on Google's platform.

Since the preview launch in October 2011, we’ve been busy working on improving the performance, adding features like scheduled backups, and multihoming to increase availability and improve performance. We are also now offering more powerful instances with up to 4GB of RAM. Today, we are announcing our pricing, with two options to choose from:
  • For developers who want to try out the service, or who have lightweight applications, we offer a flexible "per use" pricing scheme. For example, you can get started with a cloud hosted MySQL database for around a dollar per month. You pay for just what you use.
  • For developers with more traffic, there are package plans that are more economical and help you predict your costs in advance.
We will not start charging for the service until June 12th. Full details of the pricing plans are available here:

Google Cloud SQL is currently in limited preview. If you want to give us a try, start here:

Joe Faith is a Product Manager on the Google Cloud Team. In a previous life he was a researcher in machine learning, bioinformatics, and information visualization, and was founder of charity fundraising site Fundraising Skills.

Posted by Scott Knaster, Editor

Wednesday, 9 May 2012
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New Google Analytics Easy Dashboard Library

By Jeetendra Soneja and Nick Mihailovski,
Google Analytics API Team

Many developers save time by using the Google Analytics API to automate Analytics reporting tasks. For example, you can use the API to create a dashboard to report data across multiple profiles. The Google Analytics Apps Gallery includes many 3rd party solutions that do this.

What if you want to build something quickly that’s custom-tailored to your business? You would typically have to spend time learning the API, figuring out how to handle authorization, then deciding how to integrate this data with a visualization library. You could build a custom solution, but it would take a lot of effort – until now, thanks to the Google Analytics Easy Dashboard Library.

Four months ago we started a project with a team of University of California Irvine students to simplify all of these steps. As part of this project, together we built the Google Analytics Easy Dashboard Library. This library makes it easy to use the Google Analytics API by distilling the process into three easy steps:
  1. Register with Google APIs Console.
  2. Copy and paste the JavaScript code.
  3. Configure this code to query your data and choose a chart type to visualize it.
So now you can create custom Google Analytics dashboards very quickly, with minimal code.

Here’s a quick example. Say you want to create a line chart plotting visitors and visits for the last 30 days. Besides including the library, the only code required is:

<div id="chart1"></div>
var chart1 = new gadash.Chart({
'type': 'LineChart',
'divContainer': 'chart1',
'query': {
'ids': TABLE_ID,
'metrics': 'ga:visitors,ga:visits,ga:pageviews',
'dimensions': 'ga:date',
'sort': 'ga:date'
'chartOptions': {
hAxis: {title:'Date'},
vAxis: {title:'Visits'},

Using the code above will create the following chart.

Analytics chart

It’s that easy! To find out more about using the Easy Dashboard Library, read our Getting Started guide.

While the current library is very useful, we think we can add more features and make it even easier to use. To reach this goal, we’ve started working with another group of UC Irvine students, this time for three academic quarters. This new project's main goal will be to further simplify the library. We want the students we're working with to engage with you and implement your feature requests, if possible. If you use this library, we'd love to hear how you think it can be improved. Feel free to send any feedback to through our new GA-easy-dash-feedback Google Group.

We hope this library saves you time and helps you get more out of Google Analytics.

Jeetendra Soneja is the Technical Engineering Lead on the Google Analytics API team. He's a big fan of cricket – the game, that is. :)

Nick Mihailovski is a Senior Developer Programs Engineer working on the Google Analytics API. In his spare time he likes to travel around the world.

Posted by Scott Knaster, Editor

Tuesday, 8 May 2012
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Experience Google I/O 2012 anywhere

By Robert Do and Dylin Martin, Google I/O Team

In 2011, Google I/O hosted 5,500 developers from 65 countries in San Francisco, but this audience was dwarfed by the more than 1 million developers from 161 countries tuning in via livestream. Next month developers worldwide will come together for three days of coding, sharing and inspiration in this year’s keynotes, sessions and Sandbox demos. And if you’re not joining us in person on June 27-29, this year’s I/O Extended and I/O Live will be even bigger and better, with more I/O Extended locations and more sessions streamed live.

Get together locally: I/O Extended

With I/O Extended, organizers can take the reins and use the momentum behind Google I/O to bring people together. If you’re interested in hosting an event, check out our planning site here. Otherwise, wherever you are, chances are good that there's a community of passionate developers like you already gathering at an I/O Extended event. Find a location near you and RSVP to let us know you’re coming!

I/O Extended 2011 in many cities

Watch sessions live online: I/O Live

Can’t make it to an I/O Extended location? Or feel like staying in with pizza and beer? Bring the party to you with I/O Live, where the keynote and select sessions will be livestreamed on June 27-28. Bookmark where we’ll be posting the livestream schedule, as well as the video feed.

This year we’ve doubled the number of sessions that will be streamed, and we will be featuring 4 channels of programming. All sessions, including those not livestreamed, will be recorded and will be available online within 48 hours.

For more info on I/O Extended and I/O Live, keep an eye on the usual places: the Google I/O site, this blog, and +Google Developers.

Robert Do is an Associate Product Marketing Manager on the Developer Marketing Team. He works on helping developers find the tools they need on He also produces hip hop music.

Dylin Martin works with the Developer Marketing and Developer Relations Teams on Google I/O.

Posted by Scott Knaster, Editor

Friday, 4 May 2012
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Fridaygram: Doodle competition, nasty prehistoric fleas, cupcake map

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By Scott Knaster, Google Developers Blog Editor

Everybody likes Google Doodles, those creative modifications of the Google logo that appear every so often on and other Google search homepages. To let budding artists try their hand at doodling, we’ve hosted various Doodle 4 Google competitions around the world. This year’s Doodle 4 Google was open to U. S. students enrolled in schools serving grades K-12.

This week we announced the 50 state finalists, divided by grade group, and they’re very creative. Take a look, but more than that, you can vote for your favorites, one per grade group. Voting is open until May 10th. And after you’ve looked at this year’s student entries, you can spend time reliving old favorites on our Doodles archive site.

Now travel back in time to an age even before there were Google Doodles, when huge dinosaurs roamed the Earth. According to fossils found by Chinese scientists, these enormous beasts were bothered by Pseudopulex jurassicus and Pseudopulex magnus, giant insects 10 times the size of modern fleas that crawled on dinosaurs and packed a painful bite. So it turns out that being a dinosaur wasn’t all fun and games.

Finally, don’t you love it when two great things get mashed up together? Here’s an awesome example: a map of the world, made out of cupcakes. Enjoy!

Each week we publish Fridaygram, a post with cool Google and non-Google stuff you might have missed during the week. Fridaygram items aren’t necessarily related to developer topics; they’re just interesting to us nerds. Hat tip to Andres Ferrate and Mike Pegg for the link to the cupcake map. By the way, happy Star Wars Day, and May the 4th be with you.

Google Plugin for Eclipse now provides richer tooling for Cloud SQL and Google APIs

Author PhotoBy Sriram Saroop, Product Manager

We are pleased to announce the latest release of Google Plugin for Eclipse (GPE 2.6) with improved tooling for Cloud SQL and Google APIs. GPE 2.6 introduces the following features:
Tooling for using Java Persistence API (JPA) to access Cloud SQL

Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) frameworks are very popular in the Java community for accessing relational databases. The Eclipse Web Tools Platform offers a robust set of tools to configure and use JPA with an implementation of your choice. With the new Google Plugin for Eclipse (GPE) 2.6, you can now take advantage of these tools with Cloud SQL and Google App Engine. In any GPE project, JPA can now be enabled and configured as a project facet. The screenshot below shows the JPA facet configuration for a GPE project.

Importing the latest Google APIs into your GPE project

With GPE 2.6, you now have access to all the latest Google APIs at the click of a button within Eclipse. You can now download the latest Google APIs Java client library with the required dependencies to access Google APIs right within your App Engine project using GPE. Update notifications for API version changes will appear in your App Engine project, so you can easily keep your client libraries updated all the time. The screenshot below shows the GPE UI for adding a Google API to a GPE project.

The next time we update the App Engine Engine SDK, you will be happy to see an update notification within Eclipse prompting you to update to the latest SDK.

Please go ahead and install GPE 2.6 by following the instructions here. You can start using the ORM tooling for Cloud SQL and the latest Google APIs for your App Engine projects. We always love to hear your feedback and the GPE group is a great place to share your thoughts.

Sriram Saroop is the Product Manager for the Google Plugin for Eclipse and the Google Admin APIs. He has been a software engineer in his previous life and he is now working toward creating an awesome developer experience for Google products.

Posted by Scott Knaster, Editor

Thursday, 3 May 2012
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Using Google BigQuery to learn from GitHub data

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By Ilya Grigorik, Web Performance Engineer

Open-source developers all over the world contribute to millions of projects every day: writing and reviewing code, filing and discussing bug reports, updating documentation and project wikis, and so forth. The data generated from this activity can reveal interesting trends across many industries, including popularity of programming languages over time, defect rates, contribution metrics, and popularity of specific frameworks and libraries.

The challenge in extracting these trends is gathering the data. Each project has its own distributed workflow, code repositories, and conventions. Having hosted dozens of my own projects on GitHub, I've long wanted to analyze the developer activity from the 2.6M+ public projects hosted on GitHub. Hence, earlier this year GitHub Archive was born!

GitHub Archive is a project to record the public GitHub timeline, archive it, and make it easily accessible for further analysis. Each day it archives over 120,000 public activities, ranging from new commits and fork events to opening and closing tickets, each with detailed metadata.

Once I collected the data, I needed a tool to analyze it, and that is when I found Google BigQuery. Based on the research behind Dremel, a popular internal tool at Google for analyzing web-scale datasets, BigQuery allowed me to easily import the entire dataset and use a familiar SQL like syntax to comb through the gigabytes of data in seconds. Plus the tool will scale to terabyte datasets, so there is plenty of room to grow!

The best news is that thanks to collaboration from the GitHub and BigQuery teams, the GitHub dataset is now public and available for you to slice and dice in any way you like. No need to worry about data gathering or database schemas: BigQuery will do all the heavy lifting, and you can just compose your queries to be executed in realtime.

Here's a real-world example. What are the most popular programming languages on GitHub over the past month?

chart showing number of commits by language

If you are curious for more, sign up for BigQuery and follow the instructions on to access the GitHub dataset. You can use the free 100GB query quota to run your analysis and perhaps even win some of the prizes from the GitHub Data Challenge!

Ilya Grigorik is a Web Performance Engineer and Advocate at Google, an open-source evangelist, and an analytics geek. You can find him on GitHub under igrigorik, and blogging about web performance at

Posted by Scott Knaster, Editor

Tuesday, 1 May 2012
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Google BigQuery brings Big Data analytics to all businesses

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By Ju-kay Kwek, Product Manager, BigQuery

BigQuery enables businesses and developers to gain real-time business insights from massive amounts of data without any upfront hardware or software investments. Imagine a big pharmaceutical company optimizing daily marketing spend using worldwide sales and advertisement data. Or think of a small online retailer that makes product recommendations based on user clicks. Today, we are making BigQuery publicly available, an important milestone in our effort to bring Big Data analytics to all businesses via the cloud.

Since announcing BigQuery in limited preview last November, many businesses and developers have started using it for real-time Big Data analytics in the cloud. Claritics, a social and mobile analytics company, built a web application for game developers to gain real-time insights into user behavior. Crystalloids, an Amsterdam-based analytics firm, built a cloud-based application to help a resort network analyze customer reservations, optimize marketing and maximize revenue. This just scratches the surface of use cases for BigQuery.

BigQuery is accessible via a simple UI or REST interface. It lets you take advantage of Google’s massive compute power, store as much data as needed and pay only for what you use. Your data is protected with multiple layers of security, replicated across multiple data centers and can be easily exported.

Developers and businesses can sign up for BigQuery online and query up to 100 GB of data per month for free. See our introductory pricing plan for storing and querying datasets of up to 2 TB. If you need more than that, contact a sales representative.

We hope you will be able to gain real-time business insights using BigQuery. Share your BigQuery use cases and feedback in our user forums or on our +Google Enterprise page.

Ju-kay Kwek is the Product Management Lead for Google's Cloud Big Data initiative. In this role, he focuses on creating services that enable businesses and developers to harness Google's unparalleled data processing infrastructure and algorithms to tackle Big Data needs.

Posted by Scott Knaster, Editor

SPDY performance on mobile networks

By Matt Welsh, Ben Greenstein, and Michael Piatek,
Mobile Web Performance Team

SPDY is a replacement for HTTP, designed to speed up transfers of web pages by eliminating much of the overhead associated with HTTP. SPDY supports several optimizations that give it an edge over HTTP when it comes to speed. SPDY is gaining a great deal of traction -- it has been implemented in Chrome, Firefox, and Amazon Silk, has been deployed widely by Google, and there is now SPDY support for Apache through the mod_spdy module.

We wondered what the performance of SPDY would be compared to HTTP for popular websites, using a Samsung Galaxy Nexus (running Android), a modern, SPDY-enabled browser (Chrome for Android), and a variety of pages from real websites (77 pages across 31 popular domains).

The net result is that using SPDY produced a mean page load time improvement of 23% across these sites, compared to HTTP. This is equivalent to a speedup of 1.3x for SPDY over HTTP. Much more work can be done to improve SPDY performance on 3G and 4G cellular networks, but this is a promising start.

The following graph shows the page load time for HTTP and SPDY, in milliseconds, across the 77 pages that were measured. As the graph shows, in all but one case, SPDY reduces load times, sometimes by as much as 50%.

Check out the full article for more details on the measurement methodology and results.

Matt Welsh, Ben Greenstein, and Michael Piatek are software engineers on Google’s Mobile Web Performance Team based in Seattle. They are working to speed up mobile web performance globally, and as part of their jobs, they run up impressive mobile bandwidth bills every month.

Posted by Scott Knaster, Editor